Miss Tampa Bay Softball has almost 400 athletes registered this season.

Miss Tampa Bay Softball (MTBS) has kicked off its 2024 season after a festive opening day and growing excitement for the rest of the year.

This season, almost 400 athletes have registered for the spring teams. This is a growth of over 200 percent across the last five years.

“I think this is due to the many opportunities and the competitive environment we are able to foster with the number of teams we have,” MTBS treasurer Josie Shaheen said.

MTBS, a nonprofit organization, is home to competitive teams from FishHawk, Apollo Beach, Plant City and Riverview. These teams give young athletes the opportunity “to increase their skills and stay close to home.”

In addition to advertising in the community, Shaheen credits part of the league’s growth to its popular munchkin division teams for daughters 3-4 years old.

On opening day, all 32 teams, including the munchkin team, walked the field for the parade. Six graduating seniors threw out the first pitch and a players’ chorus sang the National Anthem.

This season is dedicated to first responders and the armed services. They were honored during the opening day ceremony and will be honored at the closing ceremony as well.

“We chose first responders and armed services because we have a large number of volunteers who are both retired and active duty as well as active and former Police and Fire Fighters,” Shaheen stated.

The volunteer-run program will send 27 teams to the annual Miss Florida Mid-Season Tournament at the beginning of April.

“Mid-Season is an event that MTBS enjoys sending teams to every year. It’s a fantastic opportunity for our rec players to experience a competitive environment in a tournament setting,” Shaheen said.

The MTBS spring season will run through the beginning of May, with championship week beginning on Monday, April 29, and the closing ceremonies scheduled for Saturday, May 4.

MTBS is located at 11260 FishHawk Blvd. at the intersection of Bell Shoals Road and FishHawk Boulevard.

For more information about MTBS or to register for an upcoming season, visit www.mtbsfishhawk.com or its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mtbsoftball.

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Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.